Articles

Articles

Read about what's going on in the industry to ensure you're always in the know and up to speed on industry changes and policies.

Targeted Communication: How NFL Player Benefits Moved the Goalposts
 

Creating benefit communications that capture employees’ attention requires a thoughtful, personalized approach. In this Benefits Magazine article, Alyssa Hodder, senior communication consultant at Eckler Ltd., and Bethany Marshall, director of benefits for the NFL Players Association, describe how the NFL Players Association revamped its communication strategy. 

 Reproduced with permission from Benefits Magazine, Volume 56 Number 3, pages 28-32, March 2019, published by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (www.ifebp.org), Brookfield, Wisconsin. All rights reserved. Statements or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or positions of the International Foundation, its officers, directors or staff. No further transmission or electronic distribution of this material is permitted.

Navigating the Canadian Pension Risk Transfer Market
 

In this, our second Canadian Pension Risk Transfer (PRT) Report, we have assembled four thought pieces based on our discussions and interviews with each of the insurers active in the Canadian PRT market - our own insights on our expertise gained through risk transfer consulting.

  1. Market overview
    A summary of recent growth and performance, and a recap on the risk takers active in the market
  2. PRT market trends
    A discussion on the trends and factors that may shape the future
  3. Preparing for success: the realities of PRT transactions
    Given the complexity of the risk transfer decision, we explore the ways in which plan sponsors can ensure a rewarding PRT experience
  4. Measuring longevity better
    A summary of an in-depth investigation of the factors that best explain why different types of pensioners live to different ages

Regardless of where you are on the de-risking journey - whether it be education, investigation or implementation - this second annual report continues to offer key insights, knowledge and resources to support you in the achievement of your risk transfer goals.

For full details, download a copy of the report.

The New DB Plan Model: Achieving Sustainability Through a New Focus On Flexibility
 

Despite the many pressures DB pension plans are facing today, they remain one of the most efficient ways to provide retirement benefits. Studies show that DB plans are, in fact, an essential component of Canada’s economic and social fabric.

In this BPM article, Eckler’s Chris Murphy explores the importance of, and approaches to, adding flexibility to DB plan designs and policies to help achieve long-term sustainability. 

Reprinted with permission from Benefits and Pensions Monitor.

What’s all the fuss about cannabis?
 

Over the past year, there’s been a lot of discussion on the impact that the legalization of cannabis will have on the workplace in general, and on benefits programs in particular. But despite all the hype, it’s not really a new issue. So, let’s take a look at what has changed, what hasn’t changed at all – and where plan sponsors should be focusing their attention.

The changing landscape of privacy legislation and how it impacts your plan
 

With the major data breaches in the news recently, privacy has become a hot topic. From a plan sponsor’s standpoint, it’s important to know your members’ personal information is protected. Data privacy and security has become a key issue where the collection, use, disclosure and storage of personal information is involved. And that includes the administration of pension and benefits plans, where data-sharing can involve many third parties acting as plan agents.

In his recent article, Eckler's Domenic Barbiero discusses the implications of privacy laws worldwide, focusing on the introduction of EU's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and what it means for plan sponsors. Whether plan administrators choose to implement changes immediately to be fully compliant with the GDPR or set a course of action to reach compliance over time, compliance with more stringent privacy laws seems inevitable – and costly to ignore.

Making Postretirement Plans and Senior Care More Effective
 

Over the past decade, a movement to reduce – or eliminate – retiree coverage within employer-sponsored benefit plans has become the trend, creating serious concern for the future welfare of Canada’s seniors from both health and financial perspectives. 

Ellen Whelan, Principal and Group Benefits practice leader at Eckler Ltd., explores what can be done today to avoid pushing Canada’s retirees into financial crisis tomorrow. 

Reproduced with permission from Plans & Trusts, Volume 36 Number 4, pages 18-22, July/August 2018, published by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (www.ifebp.org), Brookfield, Wisconsin. All rights reserved. Statements or opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views or positions of the International Foundation, its officers, directors or staff. No further transmission or electronic distribution of this material is permitted.

Reforms May Be the Death Knell for Target Benefit Plans
 

Recent and proposed pension reforms for target benefit plans (TBPs) – removing solvency funding requirements in favour of more stringent going-concern standards – are a move in the right direction. However, in the process, governments appear to have lost sight of the ultimate purpose of pension plans: providing members with reasonable pensions based on fixed contributions made by members and employers. This singular focus on protecting benefits at the expense of providing adequate pension levels will have unexpected consequences and could threaten the growth, or even the survival, of TBPs.

Pension risk transfer report: Navigating the pension risk transfer market
 

In our inaugural report, we explore some of the key themes driving the Canadian pension risk transfer (PTR) landscape. Given its rapid evolution, it’s critical that plan sponsors have the tools and information they need to navigate today’s PRT market. That’s why we sat down with each of the insurers currently active in the Canadian PRT market for an in-depth discussion on the current state of the market and their thoughts on the future. Through these discussions, our own reflections on the PRT market and our ongoing risk transfer consulting for our clients, we’ve assembled the following four thought pieces: 

  • Market growth, players and innovation. Developments that have shaped today’s PRT market 
  • Key PRT market trends. What to expect in the coming years 
  • What’s the big deal? The impact of transaction size on the risk transfer journey 
  • The importance of longevity. A critical element of risk transfer

For full details, download a copy of the report. 

The New Revolution in Retirement Income Adequacy
 

For years, people have used the 70% target for employment earnings replacement in retirement. But new research finds that old rule of thumb has no scientific basis  – and it’s definitely not for everyone!

In this exclusive interview, Canadian actuary and academic researcher Bonnie-Jeanne MacDonald explains why we need to scrap the 70% rule – and use the Living Standard Replacement Rate (LSRR) instead.

New insights Into pensioner mortality in the construction trades
 

In this Plans & Trusts article, Mark Davis and Domenic Barbiero, discuss the findings of Eckler's Construction Trades Mortality Study.

Reproduced with permission from Plans & Trusts, Volume 34 Number 3, pages 8-15, May-June 2016, published by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (www.ifebp.org), Brookfield, Wisconsin. All rights reserved.